spring break 2012

Ah, Spring Break (or, since it’s the first week of March, “Late Winter Break” here in Atlanta). Spring Break with little kids is the vacation from which you return needing another vacation. It’s non-stop action, sun up to sun down. Usually.




We took the boys back to the Bahamas for the first half of their break this year. Atlantis has tons of things for adventurous little boys to do, the biggest of which are all of the super-cool water slides and the lazy river–even though there are parts that aren’t exactly lazy.


They have a gigantic water fort that is a kid’s dream. I’d have loved this thing when I was little…


Most of the pools are “zero-entry,” perfect for 3-year olds who’ve not yet mastered the art of swimming (or of growing tall).


Nevermind that the water was freezing. When you are a little boy on spring break, cold water ain’t nothing but a thing. Blue fingers are a sign of toughness, apparently.

The beach is just as great, with impossibly turquoise water slowly lapping up on the shore.




There are no “super giant” waves here (as Theo says) which is good because big waves would make it impossible to hunt rocks…a task that enchanted Tucker the entire first day we were there.



“Hey! Look at the gigantic rock I caught!”


We had a dance party in our room pre-dinner, Jack took a few pictures and it was all just splendid.



Then, a day and a half later, the thunderstorms rolled in.  Big time.


Chairs blew into the pool, the trees leaned over, the sliding glass doors on our balcony shook. From the 18th floor, it was pretty intense. I cannot fathom how awful it would be to endure a hurricane here.


We did get a rainbow out of it, though.



The bands of nasty weather which attacked Alabama, Georgia and Florida last week (and through which we bounced on the airplane on the way down there) set their sights on the Bahamas and lingered the rest of the time we were there. Tuesday was deemed “breezy;” the winds topped out at 23 mph. Wednesday was upgraded to “even breezier.” The Bahamians are some tough peeps; the breezier breezes gusted up to 30mph.

I’m guessing if the breezes are blowing so hard an adult can’t walk, then they’ll get upgraded to actual “winds.” We kept waiting for Jim Cantore to show up. He’d have loved it.  It’s nearly impossible, of course, to get a picture of sub-hurricane force winds, but check out Tuck’s and Russ’s shorts and the metal trash can that’s leaning to the side.

The “breezes” made it impossible to get in the water, so we had to come up with alternative forms of entertainment…

visits to the massive underground aquarium…

covertly sitting on various landscape machinery…


more dance parties (here, Jack shows off a new move)…


long, mid-day bubble baths…


photography sessions by Jack…

(he’s still getting that centering thing down pat…)

tickling on the balcony…

restaurant parlor tricks…


and even stints at the dreaded arcade…

And, of course, no family vacation is complete without a little bit of danger tossed in there…




Despite the crazy winds and the icy water, we had a blast. And then Tucker came down with strep (confirmed today by our 3rd trip to the pediatrician in 2.5 weeks). Thank goodness for a pharmacist dad who taught me how to read labels. The Bahamas (or at least Atlantis) does not carry children’s Tylenol, children’s Motrin, or the usual (read: American) generic versions thereof. Instead, they have Ibufen, a hideously flavored (and colored–we do dye-free here) “children’s fever and pain” liquid which contained ibuprofen. We had no choice, and Tuck was a trooper; the Ibufen helped keep his temperature down until we could get back here and get more antibiotics. Lesson learned: always travel with children’s Tylenol.

Sweet Thing did his best to rally.

Here Russ, Jack, and Theo wait for the shuttle bus, which Theo loved riding “even though it’s not a train.” Theo is making his “why isn’t this a train?” face. We see this face a lot lately.


And just to prove I really was there, here’s the only other picture of me from the trip.

We flew back to the big city last night and are winding down and recuperating for the last 2 days of spring break–all of us, that is, except Russ, who hit the ground running with a post-vacation 6:40 a.m. flight this morning. Talk about a tough re-entry.

Time to get back to train track building, Lego contraption creating, baseball throwing and strep-kicking with the little men.



water, water everywhere!

The very first second the weather gives us a sneak peek of Springtime, my boys want to play with water. It never fails. Ever.


Yesterday teased us with 78 degree temperatures and sunny skies (the sun? What’s that?). Theo and I ate lunch outside and by the time we had his brothers all home, everyone was jumping for joy at the warmth.

I knew it was coming…we weren’t halfway home from school when Jack started suggesting we have a water balloon fight.  Then it morphed into making a water park. And going on the slip-n-slide. On the first of March.

that blue and yellow atrocity to the left? that’s last year’s slip-n-slide, hauled up from the basement by 3 very excited little boys…


I have to admit that the weather got the best of me, too.  So rather than freaking out about the wet clothes and the random water-play items dragged out (and hauled up), I just let them go for it.  I think it was good for me.


It was definitely good for my boys.




In the spirit of last summer’s Unexpecteds, I am trying to go with the flow more…to relax a bit and let the boys get messy or soaking wet or covered in paint just because it’s ok to do that when you are 3.5, 6 and nearly 8 years old (how on earth did that happen?).



And truth be known, it’s probably still ok to do that at 41.

There’s hardly anything better than being reminded by one’s children to live life vibrantly. It’s the good stuff, indeed.